Politics 18/06/2021

https://en.ara.cat/politics/catalan-political-prisoners-supreme-court-appeal-strasbourg_1_4025925.html

He is the third political prisoner to go to the European justice system

2 min
Former councillor Josep Rull at the JxCat rally in Terrassa

BarcelonaFormer minister Josep Rull is the third political prisoner who has appealed to European Courts against the Spanish Supreme Court's sentence of the Catalan Independence bid. This Friday, his lawyer, Jordi Pina, has officially filed an appeal at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg after the Spanish Constitutional Court rejected his last appeal -with two dissenting votes- and upheld the Supreme Court's sentence.

"We are going to European courts to accuse the state of persecution of political dissent and violating fundamental rights and freedoms" Rull posted on his Twitter account. "For the prisoners, the exiles and the victims of repression committed to freedom," he added. In the brief, collected by the ACN, Josep Rull's lawyer, Jordi Pina, denounces a violation of the right to a fair trial and an impartial tribunal, the right to the provision of witnesses for the defence, and the right to criminal legality and the right to freedom of assembly and expression.

He considers, for example, that there are several facts that show that some of the magistrates in the judicial proceedings were not impartial because they had an "interest" in the conviction of pro-independence leaders. He also recalls that the court refused to summon former president Carles Puigdemont to testify, a witness that Rull's defence sees as key to clarifying the role of the former minister during the referendum. Pina ends up concluding in the brief that Rull's conviction "can only be explained by the will to intimidate the Catalan independence movement and prevent the legitimate expression, peaceful and democratic, of their political yearnings".

The precedents of Turull and Cuixart

The arguments of Rull go in the line of the appeals lawyer Jordi Pina made in the case of ex-minister Jordi Turull, presented last week. As explained by Pina and lawyer Francesc Homs, along with Carles Puigdemont, at a press conference in Strasbourg, they denounce the violation of the judge predetermined by law, the lack of magistrate impartiality and the lack of respect for the right of assembly and freedom of expression.

One day before, the defence of the president of Òmnium, Jordi Cuixart, also presented their appeal in Strasbourg in which he denounces the violation of fundamental rights. This week, Cuixart's defence held a press conference to explain the axis of his action before the European justice. According to lawyer Olivier Peter, the goal is to turn the case into a European case against the "abusive limitation" of fundamental rights .

With Rull's appeal, there are already three political prisoners who have taken the path of European justice to denounce the Supreme Court's sentence. The former president of the ANC and now secretary general of Junts per Catalunya, Jordi Sànchez, also plans to file an appeal next week, according to ACN.

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